DUNDEE, Scotland — Group Michelin nd Scottish authorities have agreed to a plan concerning the future of its Dundee factory after the 845-employee operation there ceases operation in 2020.
Under terms of an agreement signed Dec. 17, the French group will collaborate with Scottish Enterprise, Dundee City Council and other stakeholders on a site-transformation plan that is designed to help turn the facility into a location for new economic and employment opportunities, according to Scottish Enterprise, Scotland's main economic development agency and a non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government.
The new strategic partnership, called the Michelin-Scotland Alliance, will develop a Michelin-Scotland Innovation Parc, which will open opportunities in manufacturing, remanufacturing, recycling and low-carbon transport, the partners said.
A "program office" already has been established to help drive the first phase of Michelin-Scotland Alliance projects forward, in cooperation with local, regional and national organizations.
Dereck Mackay, Scotland's economy secretary, welcomed "Michelin's formal commitment to work in partnership to develop the next phase of their presence in Scotland, including the skills and the capacity of their workforce and the transformation of the site."
The Scottish government will "support the repurposing of the site, which will become a key location for manufacturing, remanufacturing, recycling and low carbon transport in Scotland," Mr. Mackay said.
For his part, Michelin Secretary General Remi de Verdilhac said the alliance would help ensure the "best possible outcome for all those affected by the intended closure of Michelin's tire manufacturing operations in the city."
The Michelin executive went on to highlight how the Dundee site workforce had "reacted with great dignity and professionalism" following the news of the tire plant's closure.
"Their future is our priority," Mr. de Verdilhac said, adding that, throughout the coming years, the Michelin-Scotland Innovation Parc would "leverage the strengths of the local economy to pave the way for a vibrant, innovation-led future for Dundee."
Michelin told employees at the Dundee plant the week of Nov. 5 it intended to close the factory by mid-2020, citing declining demand for the smaller-sized tires produced at the 47-year-old plant and increasing imports of low-cost products from Asia.